Desmond was completely fogged in his mind. He couldn't see light anywhere. He asked himself in vain what possible connection could exist between this murder in an obscure quarter of London and the man at his side who, he knew, held in his firm hands lines that stretched to the uttermost ends of the earth? What kind of an affair was this, seemingly so commonplace that could take the Chief's attention from the hundred urgent matters of national security that occupied him?
The Chief seemed absorbed in his driving and Desmond felt it would be useless to attempt to draw him out. They wended their way through the city and out into the squalid length of the Mile End Road. Then the Chief began to talk.
"I hate driving through the City," he exclaimed, "but I always think it's good for the nerves. Still, I have a feeling that I shall smash this old car up some day. That friend of yours, Strangwise, now he's a remarkable man!" Do you know his story?"
"About his escape from Germany?" asked Desmond.
He told me something about it at dinner last night," said Desmond, "but he's such a modest chap he doesn't seem to like talking about it!"
"He must have a cool nerve," replied the Chief, "he doesn't know a word of German, except a few scraps he picked up in camp. Yet, after he got free, he made his way alone from somewhere in Hanover clear to the Dutch frontier. And I tell you he kept his eyes and ears open!"
"Was he able to tell you anything good" asked Desmond.
"The man's just full of information. He couldn't take a note of any kind, of course, but he seems to have a wonderful memory. He was able to give us the names of almost every unit of troops he came across."